Myrtle Beach is one of the most child-friendly resort towns in the United States. Dozens of attractions are specifically designed to keep a young one’s interest — and a number of them are just as fun for adults.
If your child needs to take a break from the sun, but a blissful afternoon nap in your hotel room isn’t an option, you’ll win some serious parenting brownie points with a quick trip to any of these places.
Thrill rides are one of the easiest ways to keep kids entertained, and Myrtle Beach has a couple of options. Family Kingdom, though, might be the best choice if you’ve got kids whose ages span a wide range. With 38 rides to choose from (and an attached water park), everyone will have something they can enjoy.
Daredevils in the family will gravitate toward the Slingshot Drop Zone, which will let them experience a 110-foot free fall. (Do it before lunch.) The Swamp Fox is a wooden roller coaster that is fun for most of the family (though not small children).
Everyone loves the bumper cars and log flume rides, and young kids can never get enough of the Tilt-a-Whirl (though parents surely will after a time or two).
Like WonderWorks, this is more of an interactive museum, so you don’t need to worry about long-drawn-out sighs and cries of “I’m boooorred” when you bring the kids here. The largest children’s museum in the state, this facility rewards kids for their curiosity.
They’ll get to design, build and (natch) tear down a house using giant blocks. A foam pit can be made into anything they’d like. There’s a pirate ship and a kid’s medical center. And artistically inclined kids will love the Express Yourself Art Center.
The highlight for most children, though, is the chance to stand in front of a green screen and deliver a weather report or take to the news desk and fill in their imaginary viewers on the latest happenings in the world.
Myrtle Beach takes its putt-putt courses seriously. Golf is just as much a draw for the kids as it is for the adults. But few courses can top the appeal of Mr. Atlanticus.
With 36 holes overall, the two 18-hole courses weave upward through what used to be a department store. You’ll encounter everything from dodos to minotaurs along the way (along with Elvis, aliens and an abominable snowman).
Some of the holes are more luck than skill, but kids will enjoy the silly faux-historical nature of the place — and will absolutely love taking their shot at the 19th hole — an impossibly small strip of turf situated between two lagoons. If they make the shot, they’ll get a free lifetime pass.
Ok, parents, we won’t lie. This probably won’t be your favorite meal in Myrtle Beach. But it will be the one your kids talk about for weeks afterward. Produced by Dolly Parton, this show puts you in the center of a tremendous pirate battle — along with balancing acts, juggling, singing, animals and all sorts of audience participation. (Think Medieval Times, but for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” crowd.)
Come early for the extensive pre-show. The food’s certainly not bad, but it’s standard fare for these sorts of spectacles (chicken, BBQ pork, etc.). It’s not about the food, though. It’s about the experience. And if your kids get excited in even the slightest way about pirates, they’ll have an evening to remember.
Shh. Don’t tell your kids they might learn something here. The sight of the giant upside-down house in which you’ll find WonderWorks will have them so excited, they probably won’t notice they’re absorbing information about science and history.
Your admission fee buys you a lot of fun, too. You can feel what it’s like to face 84-mph hurricane force winds. Summon 100,000 volts of electricity to your fingertips via the Tesla Coil. See how long you can hold your hand in water the same temperature as the seas surrounding the Titanic when it sank. Fly a (simulated) jetpack on Mars. And if you get tired, you can always take that nap — except it’s on a bed of nails.
You’ll also get a free game of laser tag thrown in — and it says something about the facility when that’s the afterthought.